Monday, March 5, 2007

The wrongful science of forgetfulness?

Is it possible that we are more tuned into forgetting God's blessings than into remembering them? If that is so, why? I fear we have made forgetting God's good things in our lives into an exact science. It is almost a right we have carefully adopted. Could it be we enjoy the negative exercise of remembering all the bad stuff? It enables us to have a "pity" party any time we choose. It gives us a sense of how unfair life has been to us. It enables us to "wallow" in our frustration, and even justify our feelings of having been some how taken advantaged of by life. Ultimately, [perish this thought] is it a subtle way we have of getting back at God for allowing such "undeserved" things to come into our lives?
God warned Israel when they were about to enter the new land he had promised them & receive the houses, lands, vineyards, and crops that they would forget all the things he had done for them in the wilderness, and forget Him altogether. [and it did happen...remember the period of the judges?]
I have thought a lot about how easily I allow the blessings of God to slip from my mind, and how quickly I recall the disappointments, frustrations, and negative events that march through my life. Perhaps some of it IS Satanic. After all, to lose sight of the blessings is to dismiss the blesser in my mind. Perhaps some of it IS fleshly self-centeredness. The tendency to build my world all around me and view all the circumstances as just about me is a strong and overwhelming impulse in me.
How do we negate the wrongful science of forgetfulness when it comes to God's blessings? One of the devices God used to help Israel recall His blessings was the commands to erect memorials during the Exodus journey. He gave the building of stone markers, the observance of certain days and weeks [with jubilee and festival events], and other exercises to make recall of those blessings and victories a priority. I think I need to erect some memorials in my life. Maybe a shadow box that commemorates certain family blessings [like my oldest daugther practices with her family] would be helpful. Or the creating of cards [blessing cards] that I take out periodically and review [like my son creates to remind him of too easily forgotten blessings]. Or perhaps just schooling myself to pray everyday over the blessings. The discipline of bringing them up in prayer will force my mind to return to those blessings.
I don't like the wrongful science of forgetfulness. It is a blind man's journey and I want off of it.

1 comment:

In Christ said...

I think you hit on a good point regarding our self-centered nature and our forgetfulness of God's goodness to us. At one point, I tried to discipline myself to keep a prayer journal where every entry contained blessings I'm grateful for and praises I want to raise up before I write down any prayer requests. I'm ashamed to say that discipline didn't last. But I need to start it again.

It could well be that we think we don't deserve the tough times in our lives, and in turn, *do* deserve the blessings in our lives, and so forget the blessings easily because consciously or unconsciously we believe those good things are supposed to happen to us (how prideful we are!). There are also everyday blessings that we easily take for granted because they happen day in and day out - the air we breath, the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the safe trips to and from work, etc.

The shadow box and blessing cards you mentioned are all good memorials. Journaling is another method. Just as a book sitting on the shelf doesn't benefit anyone until it is opened and read, all of these methods work best when they are reviewed so that our memories can be triggered time and again. There is also the story-telling method that works wonders in not only reminding ourselves of God's abundant grace but to pass on to others the legacy of God's hand in our lives. May the Lord be forever praised!